Fix The Windows Registry In 3 Steps:

Method:  Manual  |  Monetary Cost:  None  |  Skill Level: Experienced

So your PC is running at turtle-speed and won’t stop freezing, crashing and displaying constant error messages.What can you do about it Right Now?Follow this DIY guide on how you can bring back the smooth-running computer you used to have.

1. Identify the problem

Before doing anything else, let’s make sure your computer’s problems don’t have anything to do with a virus, spyware/malware, or any third-party software. Run a full anti-virus scan, as well as a full spyware scan; that way we can pinpoint the problem.If neither the anti-virus nor the spyware scans fix anything, the problem most likely lies in the Windows Registry.If that’s the case:

2. Backup your registry

Important!  Before continuing: Please note that if you’re using a good registry cleaning program like, RegCure, it will automatically back up your registry, allowing you to skip this step.Before you do anything to your registry, it’s crucial to do a full backup, in the event that anything goes wrong. If you’re making any adjustments to your registry yourself, rest assured that it’s very easy to render your computer totally useless; in which case you’ll be glad you took the time to make a backup.Depending on which version of Windows you’re using, running a backup is slightly different. Choose your version from the list below for a full guide on how to do one:
WARNING–  Do not attempt to edit, change “repair” or tamper with the registry in any way, shape or form unless you are a trained computer technician or you are confident in what you are doing. Even the tiniest of alteration in the registry can cause serious problems – even to the point of rendering your computer completely unable to function. If you are uncomfortable about proceeding it is strongly recommended that you use a reputable registry cleaning utility, like RegCure or PC Speed Maximizer, instead of risking catastrophic computer crash, and the loss of all your files.  You can find a comparison of registry clean up programs in our review section. If you have experience, proceed at your own risk.

READ MORE… MANUAL INSTRUCTIONS BY WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEM


Windows 95 registry backup and restoration instructions
How to Back Up the Registry in Windows 95 – Step by Step

To back up your registry files, follow these steps:

  1. Restart your computer. Press the F8 key when you see the “Starting Windows 95” message, and then choose Safe Mode Command Prompt Only from the Startup menu.
  2. At the command prompt type the following lines, pressing ENTER after each line:
    cd windows
    attrib -r -h -s system.dat
    attrib -r -h -s user.dat
    copy system.dat *.bu
    copy user.dat *.bu
    NOTE: This procedure assumes you do not have any files named System.bu or User.bu. If you do have files by this name, such as a backup of the System.ini file, select a file name extension that is not currently in use.
  3. Restart your computer.
The registry has now been backed up.
How to Restore the Registry in Windows 95 – Step by Step

To restore your registry files, follow these steps:

  1. Restart your computer. Press the F8 key when you see the “Starting Windows 95” message, and then choose Safe Mode Command Prompt Only from the Startup menu.
  2. Type the following lines at the command prompt, pressing ENTER after each line:
    cd windows
    attrib -r -h -s system.dat
    attrib -r -h -s system.da0
    attrib -r -h -s user.dat
    attrib -r -h -s user.da0
    ren system.dat system.daa
    ren system.da0 system.da1
    ren user.dat user.daa
    ren user.da0 user.da1
    copy system.bu system.dat
    copy user.bu user.dat
    NOTE: This procedure assumes you do not have any files named System.daa, System.da1, User.daa, or User.da1. If you do have files by this name, select a file name extension that is not currently in use.
  3. Restart your computer.

The registry has now been restored.

Notes:

  • You may want to back up more than one version of the registry in case the registry becomes damaged but the damage is not detected until later. If you want to do this, when you are following the steps above, replace the .bu extension with .bu1, .bu2, and so on.
  • If you have more than one hard disk or a network drive is available, you may want to copy the backup files to the other drive so the backup files do not reside in the same location as the original registry files.
  • Be sure to use the same filenames and extensions for both the backup and restoring process.

Windows 98/ME registry backup and restoration instructions

How to Back Up the Registry in Windows 98/ME – Step by Step
  1. Click Start, click Run, type scanregw, and then click OK.
  2. When you receive a prompt to back up the registry, click Yes.
  3. When you receive the “Backup complete” message, click OK.
NOTE: When you back up the registry, the Rb0x.cab file is created in the WindowsSysbckup folder (where x is a number from 0 to 5). Each time you back up the registry, the oldest Rb0x.cab file is overwritten. Windows Registry Checker backs up the System.dat, User.dat, System.ini, and Win.ini files, as well as registry configuration information (including user account information, protocol bindings, software program settings, and user preferences).

The registry has now been backed up.
How to Restore the Registry in Windows 98/ME – Step by Step
  1. Start your computer, press and hold CTRL, and then choose Safe Mode Command Prompt Only from the Windows 98 Startup menu. If you are running Windows Me, start your computer with the startup disk.
  2. At the MS-DOS prompt, type cdwindowscommand, and then press ENTER. Where windows is the name of the folder in which Windows is installed.
  3. At the C: prompt, type scanreg /restore, and then press ENTER.
  4. Select the previous registry you want to restore, and then press ENTER.NOTE: A properly working registry has the word “Started” next to the date.
  5. When you receive notification that you restored a properly working registry, press ENTER to restart your computer.

The registry has now been restored.


Windows 2000/2003/XP registry backup and restoration instructions

How to Back U p the Registry in Windows 2000/2003/XP – Step by Step

Note: You may need to be logged in as the administrator in order perform the following tasks.

  1. Go to Start >> All Programs >> Accessories >> System Tools >> Backup. Make sure the Backup Utility exists in your start menu, otherwise ensure that it’s installed by inserting your Windows CD and making updates/installations as necessary.
  2. In the Backup program, make sure you are in the “wizard” part of the application, then hit the ‘next’ button to move on to the next step.
  3. When prompted, select “Only back up the System State Data”. Follow the prompts and proceed by clicking “Next” until the backup is completed. Press “Finish” to initiate the Registry Backup. When the backup is complete, close the program.

The registry has now been backed up.

How to Restore the Registry in Windows 2000/2003/XP – Step by Step
  1. Open the Backup Utility, (see above).
  2. In the “backup wizard”, there’ll be a list of all previous registry backups. Simply select the System-State backup you’d like to restore and press “Next”, and then “Finish”. Close the program when the restoration is complete.

The registry has now been restored.


Windows Vista registry backup and restoration instructions

How to Back Up the Registry in Windows Vista – Step by Step

Note: You may need to be logged in as the administrator in order perform the following tasks.

There are two ways to backup the registry in Windows Vista:a) create a “System Restore Point”,orb) export the registry in its current state using Reg Edit to a folder on the hard drive – or an external drive.
For b), go to Start >> All Programs >> Accessories >> Run >> “Reg Edit”. Then export the desired registry keys or folders somewhere on your hard drive, or an external drive. Then later import the data back into the registry in the same way.

To be safe though, we’ll backup the registry using System Restore…

  1. Go to Start >> Control Panel >> System >> System Protection.
  2. Select the hard drives you’d like to create a restore-point for and then click on the “Create” button to create a new restore point.
  3. Follow the prompts in order to complete the backup process

The registry has now been backed up.

How to Restore the Registry in Windows Vista – Step by Step
  1. Go to Start >> All Programs >> Accessories >> System Tools >> System Restore.
  2. Click “Next”, select the restore point for which you’d like to reset your PC, and then click “Next” again.
  3. Follow the prompts in order to complete the restoration process.
The registry has now been restored.

3. Fix the errors in the Windows registry

WARNING–  Do not attempt to edit, change “repair” or tamper with the registry in any way, shape or form unless you are a trained computer technician. Even the tiniest of alteration in the registry can cause serious problems – even to the point of rendering your computer completely unable to function.It is strongly recommended that you use a reputable registry cleaning utility, like RegGenie, instead of risking catastrophic computer failure, and the loss of all your files.

Fixing your registry can be a relatively “simple” task, or can require a complete re-installation of Windows and reformatting of your Hard Drive – all depending on the severity of the problem.
First, try to do a ‘system restore’ to a point prior to the initial error(s). Hopefully, this solves the problem, otherwise you have 3 options (short of re-installing Windows and reformatting your HD):
1) Use the system’s Registry Editor to manually remove or edit the “problem” files (folders/keys). You must locate the keys associated with the problem software.  These keys are unique for each software program. Be carefuil that you do not remove keys that are needed by the Windows operating system!  If you know what keys to remove or edit, then this is the place to do it !  If you are not sure PLEASE STOP and do not proceed. Instead use a good automated Registry Error removal tool as suggested in other parts of this guide — OR — follow the next steps.
Fix Windows Registry
2) Hire a computer repair professional or bring your computer to shop to have it fixed.
3) Avoid the hassle and (expense) of steps 1 & 2 and use RegCure to backup, identify and repair the problems in the space of a few minutes.
So if you are  a computer technician, or you are knowledgeable on the inner workings of the Windows Registry, then you’ve probably already taken the steps to repair the computer yourself. Otherwise, the only option that makes any sense is to use RegCure to fix the problem; unless you prefer to lose all your files by re-installing Windows and reformatting your hard drive. That is also an option.  In our opinion RegCure is well worth the saving in time and you don’t have to worry about accidentally erasing a critical part of the Windows registry system.


THE AUTOMATED COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH — Although a bit more of a monetary investment over using the Manual Approach or using RegCure or RegGenie — This approach also has Far Less Risk for Error and Mistakes and this product also has the Anti Malware and Anti Spyware utilities included,  It is recommended as a day to day maintenance utility.  PC Health Advisor expands that capability and is excellent software to add once your problems are corrected. It does BOTH clean up registry errors AND checks for and eliminates spyware and malware on your PC.  We have provided links for you to evaluate for yourself.

Some additional information about PC Health Advisor:

PC Health Advisor takes a More Comprehensive Automated approach however it is not freeware. They do have a free trial period. Sometimes the trial alone is enough to correct a problem and can often keep you from having to bring your PC to a repair shop!


From the PC Health Advisor website:

  • Cleans and Optimizes the Windows Registry
  • Fixes & Prevents Errors
  • Cleans Up Clutter by Removing Junk Files
  • Eliminates Malware & Spyware

This is one of the top rated products in our reviews for comprehensive PC Health Care Routine Maintenance. Many PC repair technicians use this same product before troubleshooting for hardware problems on customer’s PCs! More information about PC Advisor can be found in our Registry Cleaner Comparison article.